Another 3 day weekend coming to a close in Tampa(Presidents Day Weekend), paradise-like weather continues, and so do Good Times!
Friday evening, there were quite a few new establishments opening in Ybor City, we decided to go to the "soft" opening for Streetcar Charlies Bar and Grille. They did an awesome job re-doing this corner restaurant(8th ave and 15th Street), very large open bar, sitting in the restaurant reminded you of sitting in an actual streetcar, lots of windows and doors that open all the way up into the street. There was a limited menu, but what we dined on was very good. Thai Buffalo Shrimp, Pecan crusted Chicken Fingers and a Seared Tuna appetizer. All expertly prepared and delicious, I look forward to when the real menu comes on board. Afterwards we caught a movie in Centro Ybor(my favorite theaters), and then attempted to check out some places in Ybor that just opened, only to find that by 10pm, there were extremely long lines for two of the places we wanted to go to, so we opted to leave Ybor, and meet up with some friends at Hawk's, a great South Tampa neighborhood type sport bar on Bay to Bay Blvd near MacDill Avenue.
Saturday I took the kids to the beach down the street at Picnic Island(they love that place!), there were more dogs than ususal, obviously taking advantage of the beautiful weather. They have done many upgrades to the park, adding a few scenic overlooks and more walking paths.
Saturday evening we all planned on going to the Gasparilla Night Parade, yes, Gasparilla is still happening, but this is the last of the parades, and one of the best, as it takes place in the evening, and all the floats are Illuminated, its a bit more personal, as instead of 500,000 along Bayshore Blvd and downtown Tampa, there are roughly 50,000 along 7th Avenue in Ybor City. Its nice to find a spot along 7th Ave, not too crowded, and to be so close to the floats(over 125 this year),and of course you can walk away with more beads than ever. Before the parade started we started at Adobe Gila's which is outdoors on the 2nd floor and overlooked 7th avenue, drinks were chilly, food I would stay very far from. Reservoir Bar was next, then a new bar called Club Mixx is where we ended up watching the parade in front of......Whats also great is that after the parade, all the bars, clubs and restaurants are having Post Parade parties, lots of live music, and best of all, LOTS if interesting people!! You just never know who your going to meet or whats going to happen....all the better which ensures a great time. Club Czar was a great spot for one of those after parade parties, and by midnight, we were ready for some late night pizza at Demini's Market on 7th which has some of the BEST pizza in Ybor.
Sunday, we opted for some lunch and wanted to take advantage of the great weather and eat outdoors, St. Pete's downtown has LOTS of great dining al fresco, Parkshore Grill and Moon Under Water are great places, but there was a 30 minute wait to eat outdoors at both, so we put our names in at both places and got that vibrator thinggy, and stopped at The Hooker Tea Company, a cool tea place in between the two, and just sat outside until one of them went off.....we were going to be having lunch at Parkshore Grille. Excellent choice, we started with stuffed meatballs, stuffed with blue cheese and a wine sauce, then I had the Burger which was huge, juicy and delicious topped with Bacon and Blue Cheese, and also the Parkshore Salad with Blackened chicken....so nice to sit outside, enjoy the people watching, and enjoy great food and views of the Bay. Afterwards we met up with some friends who were also downtown St Pete at Frescos for a few Sunday Funday drinks outside over looking the marina. It was funny to hear some of us stating that we were all on vacation..not only because thats exactly what it felt like, but also because we all made the 25 minute journey across the bridge from Tampa....it's just really nice to have all the amenities of a great city like St Pete and Tampa so close to each other, im not sure why more people from Tampa exclaim they never cross the bridge unless they HAVE to, boy are they missing out!
Monday morning brought us to The Brunchery in South Tampa for breakfast, I have had hit or miss good eats at this place, but Pach's was packed, and Pinky's was closed. I opted for the Brunchery Benedict, and it was a winner..scrambled eggs with chedder cheese and asparagus on top of a croissant with hollaindaise, my buddy got the Craisen and Almond panckaes which were so moist and delicious.
This week brings work brings me to Pensacola, FL.